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Mid-sagittal dimensions of cervical vertebral bodies

American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Publication Date
  • Physics


A series of lateral radiographs of the cervical spinal column was evaluated in order to determine vertebral body dimensions. The sample included males (N = 30) and females (N = 31) 18 to 24 years old, comprising three stature percentile ranges (1–20; 40–60; 80–99) of the U. S. adult population. A two-dimensional analysis of vertebral body height (average distance between superior-inferior surfaces), depth (average distance between anterior-posterior surfaces), and area (average height × average depth) revealed minimal effects due to stature. In all subjects, average depth exceeded average height for vertebral bodies C3 through C7. Upon combining stature groups, both sexes revealed maximum average values for these dimensions at the seventh cervical vertebral body. Minimum average height occurred at C5 whereas minimum average depth was found at C3. Significant correlation (Α < 0.05) was found for males between ponderal index and height and depth of the C7 vertebra. Male head weight correlated significantly with C3, C4, C5 and C6 vertebral body height and with C3, C5 and C6 vertebral body depth. For females, C7 height and C6 depth correlated significantly with ponderal index and head weight respectively. Probable biomechanical relationships of specific cervical vertebral bodies are noted.

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